JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores  here on Monday reported a loss of $76.1 million during its first fiscal quarter, which ended ended Sept. 22, citing expenses incurred in a recent round of store closures and layoffs as well as soft sales.
Sales for the 12-week period declined 2.3% to $1.5 billion, with identical-store sales declining by 2.8%, mainly as a result of competitive activity. Company officials noted the identical-store sales trend improved from the fourth quarter, reflecting strategic adjustments in its promotional activity and new sales initiatives.
The loss included $40.1 million related to discontinued operations at 30 Winn-Dixie stores closed during the quarter. Continuing operations were adversely affected by a deferred tax expense of $13.3 million, the company added. Winn-Dixie posted a loss of $8.1 million in the same period last year.
Peter Lynch, chief executive officer of Winn-Dixie, said sales were in line with expectations. “As we move through the year, we expect profitability to improve based on continued sequential improvements in identical-store sales, savings related to our headcount reductions, and exercising discipline with respect to our operating and administrative expenses.”